Skatepark injuries can incur economic pain

December 19, 2007

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 19, 2007 -- Anyone heading out to the local skatepark with dreams of becoming the next Tony Hawk may want to take some precautions.

Researchers from the Center for Trauma and Injury Prevention at the University of California, Irvine have found that the economic aches attached to a skatepark-related injury can be as great as the physical pains.

Dr. Federico Vaca and colleagues tracked emergency room patients at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., who injured themselves at a nearby skatepark and found that the average cost for each injury was nearly $3,200. Medical costs comprised two-thirds of this amount, and lost wages accounted for the other third for both patients and their families. The study appears in Clinical Medicine & Research.

"With skateboarding's popularity remaining high, the economic impact of these injuries affects more and more people and their families," said Vaca, a clinical professor of emergency medicine. "Between 1997 and 2005 across the country, emergency room visits by people with skateboard-related injuries rose from over 48,000 to more than 112,000, and that number continues to rise."

The researchers found that economic impact was greatest on working adults older than 25, who, on average, missed an average of 17 days of work because of their injuries. Vaca noted that one patient lost his job because he missed too much work. As a result from loss of income, he was evicted from his apartment. Another subject, who tuned guitars and pianos by trade, suffered a forearm fracture and was fired because he could not work.

"Clearly, for adults who suffer injuries while skateboarding, the economic impact can go significantly beyond the medical costs," Vaca said.

A little more than half of the patients surveyed were between the ages of 8 and 19. While lost wages weren't a factor for this group, the impact was felt more on the entire family. In addition to students missing school, parents reported missing work to take their children for follow-up medical care.

For the study, Vaca's team followed emergency room patients from July 1999 to July 2001, contacting them by telephone one week post-injury and then again at one-, three-, six-, nine- and 12-month intervals to assess follow-up medical care, time lost from work and school for both the subject and parents, and the degrees of self-reported disabilities.

Eighty percent of the 95 participating patients were riding skateboards; the others were using inline skates or motocross bicycles. Ninety-one percent of the injured patients were treated and released the same day; 9 percent were admitted for further care. Fifty-eight percent reported previous injuries from the same activities, and more than 90 percent reported using helmets and knee pads. Seventy-one percent had medical insurance.

Vaca says common skateboard injuries seen in emergency departments are arm and leg fractures, sprains, contusions, and head and stomach injuries.
-end-
Craig L. Anderson, Dr. John Christian Fox, Danny Mai and Nick Ferrarela of UC Irvine also worked on the study, which received support from the University of California, Irvine Health Partners.

About the Center for Trauma and Injury Prevention Research: Located in the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, the Center for Trauma and Injury Prevention Research is committed to the reduction of associated personal and societal burden of traumatic injury through conducting multidisciplinary research, translating research into policy and practice, serving as a regional and national resource and working in close partnership with communities.

About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,800 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.7 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

Television: UCI has a broadcast studio available for live or taped interviews. For more information, visit www.today.uci.edu/broadcast.

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. The use of this line is available free-of-charge to radio news programs/stations who wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photo available at http://today.uci.edu/news/release_detail.asp?key=1711

UCI maintains an online directory of faculty available as experts to the media. To access, visit www.today.uci.edu/experts.

For UCI breaking news, visit www.zotwire.uci.edu.

University of California - Irvine

Related Injuries Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 frequently causes neurological injuries
Without directly invading the brain or nerves, the virus responsible for COVID-19 causes potentially damaging neurological injuries in about one in seven infected, a new study shows.

Head and neck injuries make up nearly 28% of all electric scooter accident injuries
A Henry Ford study is sounding the alarm on the rise of electric scooter injuries, and particularly head and neck injuries, since the 2017 introduction of e-scooter rideshare programs in urban centers.

Reasons for football injuries
If professional footballers are out of action due to injuries, this can have serious consequences for the club.

Glass tables can cause life-threatening injuries
Faulty glass in tables can cause life-threatening injuries, according to a Rutgers study, which provides evidence that stricter federal regulations are needed to protect consumers.

Concerns over police head injuries
Head injuries may be worryingly common among police officers, according to a new pilot study led by the University of Exeter.

Firework-related eye injuries
Emergency department data were used to describe the number, type, severity and factors associated with firework-related eye injuries that occurred in the United States from 1999 to 2017.

Injuries from motorized scooters
Motorized scooters are increasingly popular and, in this study, researchers analyzed medical information for 61 adults who visited a single emergency department with scooter-related injuries.

Children's fingertip injuries could signal abuse
Many children who suffer fingertip injuries have been abused, according to a Rutgers study.

Cell phone injuries
Cell phones are mainstays of daily life. This observational study analyzed 20 years of data on people who went to emergency departments with head and neck injuries from cell phone use to estimate the number of injuries, learn what types of injuries there were, and understand how the injuries occurred, such as from distracted driving or walking.

New study looks at motorized scooter injuries
More than half of people who received X-rays or CT scans after electric scooter accidents were found to have injuries, most commonly to the upper extremities, according to a new study.

Read More: Injuries News and Injuries Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.